The keys to the electoral victory of Chavismo in Venezuela

Chavismo showed its muscle, once again, in the regional and local elections on Sunday, in the face of a weakened and fractured opposition, in which the struggle of egos is stronger than the “need for change”, so vaunted among its ranks, but so difficult to manage for those who do not see beyond their own shadow.

Here are some keys to the overwhelming pro-government victory, which will govern 20 states, plus Caracas, compared to the 3 with which the opposition must conform:

1.- OPPOSING DIVISION

Opponents went from not running in any elections since 2017 to nominating candidates by the dozen for regional and local elections this year, which led to a disintegration of the vote that reduced the chances of winning spaces, despite the warning of experts who predicted the disaster if you did not participate en bloc.

But the aspirants turned a deaf ear and created their own ghetto, marking distances with those who were once comrades with whom, with Juan Guaidó at the helm, they planned to conquer the presidential palace of Miraflores and evict Nicolás Maduro. But when he did not achieve his objective, the fractures began, more and more obvious.

And so, more divided than ever, and unable to join forces under the same initials, they went to an election in which the Chavista triumph was assured, having at the forefront a diversity of weakened and dwarfed formations.

2.- INTERIM, “THE DAY OF THE MARMOT”

Since January 2019, when Guaidó proclaimed himself “interim president” in a Caracas plaza with the immediate recognition of more than 50 countries, he remained anchored in that scene, while his own country continued to turn, without him being able to move to the rhythm of a citizenry that demanded that he fulfill what he promised.

However, the promises remained there: promises. Neither a way out of the crisis nor an election call nor a presidential mandate nor the conquest of the promised land, the paradise that he swore to bring to some loyal followers who stopped being so, because they got tired of waiting and felt cheated.

But Guaidó, immovable, continues with his particular groundhog day, insistently repeating that he is the president of the Venezuelan Government, head of state and maximum leader of a National Assembly (AN, Parliament), in Chavista hands since last January. And despite declaring himself master and lord of everything, he still does not command anything.

3.- CHAVISTA DISCIPLINE

It is not just a motto that they repeat ad nauseam; Chavismo is defined by loyalty and discipline. Support for the ruling party has fallen to a range that encompasses between 20% and 25% of society, numbers far removed from their best moments.

Few but very close. For this reason, every time their leaders make a call to vote, they tighten the ranks and come without hesitation, strong, even though they may doubt President Nicolás Maduro and even hesitate when it comes to believing his excuses about the country’s situation.

As an element of cohesion, the late President Hugo Chávez continues to be the flag. His eyes, his messages and his memory lead the members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to go to the polls pushed by a seamless organizational system.

4.- STRENGTHENED OFFICIALISM

Winning a game when no one is on the other side of the field makes the path much easier. The loyalty of Chavismo has coexisted with the decomposition of the opposition since its great victory in the parliamentary elections of 2015, which has reached its maximum splendor in 2021.

Chavismo has remained united and has solidified its foundations, while its rivals moved away from society and deepened the cracks that divide them.

The Chavista strategy was, clearly, “divide et impera”, but they have had little to do to do so: only watch and point out the internal fights of the opposition while smiling and showing themselves as the only political alternative.

5.- OPACITY OF OPPOSING ACCOUNTS

The accounts of the opposition in general and the “interim government” in particular also do not add up to those who placed all their trust in that young politician, unpopular until January 2019, who presented himself with the solution to all his ills and who managed to excite millions of people.

Phantom ministries, ambassadors without diplomacy, parallel positions with no other job than appearance, spokespersons for non-existent institutions or the office of a “first lady” who, like the rest of alleged entities, has a budget for social works, the results of which are they do not know.

Given the insistence of the public to know those accounts and the criticism of the Maduro government in the face of opacity, the opposition led by Guaidó released a partial document that did not convince those who continue to demand responsibilities, considering it not very credible.

This story was originally published on November 22, 2021 1:13 pm.

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The keys to the electoral victory of Chavismo in Venezuela